Two Years After the Doha Agreement, Zalmay Khalilzad Lays the Blame on Afghan Sides

The Doha Agreement was signed two years ago on February 29 in the capital of Qatar. Now, Zalmay Khalilzad, a former US envoy to Afghanistan, who signed the agreement on behalf of the United States, says there is a need to negotiate to form a government in Afghanistan and adopt a formula to avoid the mistakes of the past 40 years.

In an interview with the BBC Persian, Mr. Khalilzad raised these issues on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Doha Agreement.

According to him, the third part of the Doha Agreement emphasized that the government should be formed on the basis of negotiations. Mr. Khalilzad added that this was one of the four key elements of the Doha Agreement, which has not yet been implemented.

Meanwhile, Mr. Khalilzad stresses that the Afghan people now need to sit together, saying even opponents of the Doha Agreement are now talking about returning to the third paragraph of the agreement and starting negotiations under it. He emphasizes that this is a necessity and a principle. However, how it should be and who it is a matter for Afghans to decide. Mr. Khalilzad points out that the United States cannot say anything about this and does not have the conditions.

According to Khalilzad, there are points in the Doha agreement that has not yet been implemented by the world, the Taliban, and the former government. He said a plan to implement these issues should be negotiated.

As stated by him, opponents of the agreement said earlier that they were in favor of the agreement, and so were the present rulers.

Mr. Khalilzad added that the Doha agreement is not a bad framework, in contrast, the best framework for solving Afghanistan’s problems.

In the interview, the former US envoy for the country blamed those responsible for the non-implementation of the Doha Agreement and the failure to use the framework created by the agreement. According to him, the signing of the Doha Agreement, which some US military officials even believe was the prelude to the fall of the former Afghan government, was not wrong.

Moreover, he added that under the agreement, talks began between the Republic and the Taliban, but for various reasons, the talks failed. In the meantime, he criticized the former Afghan government for not taking the talks seriously based on miscalculations, and accused the other side – the Taliban – of misbehaving.

According to Khalilzad, the previous administration assumed that politics would change with the announcement of the election results and the change of government in the United States. On the other hand, referring to the political situation in Ukraine, he said the Afghan government could have made better use of military weapons and, like Ukrainian officials, mobilized the people and the army. Mr. Khalilzad, however, stated that the ex-regime and its opponents did not take advantage of the opportunity provided by the agreement.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad insisted that the US could withdraw from Afghanistan under the terms and conditions of the agreement, saying the US government eventually became discouraged and left Afghanistan regardless of the circumstances.

Furthermore, he also said that in the last days it had been agreed that a high-level delegation would go to Doha and the Taliban would not enter Kabul. Thereby, he believes, a government based on negotiation should be formed and its leadership should be accepted by all sides. He, unfortunately, said both sides failed to do so, but former President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani did not agree to form a transitional government.

In addition, the former US envoy for the country indicated that more efforts are needed to build a free and prosperous Afghanistan, and stressed the need to implement the key elements of the Doha Agreement. According to him, the third party of the Doha agreement was the Afghans, according to which an agreement could be reached on the legitimacy of the government in Afghanistan.

The former US envoy, who has been widely criticized for signing the Doha agreement in the absence of a representative from the former Afghan government, says the responsibility lies with the Afghans themselves as well as the present rulers, adding it is necessary to learn from the 40-year history of the war in Afghanistan and not to repeat mistakes.

On the other hand, Mr. Khalizad pointed out that the practice in which one group comes to power and forcibly imposes its ideas on others. According to him, another war against it must be prevented because it doesn’t have positive consequences.

Meanwhile, Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, says the Doha agreement was a turning point in Afghanistan’s history and that in the years to come, future generations will remember the 29th of February. According to him, however, parts of the Doha agreement which include the removal of the blacklist, the removal of the US list of awards and the overall boycott of Afghanistan, and the recognition of the current government, have not yet been implemented.

According to Suhail, the non-implementation of these parts are contrary to the essence of the Doha Agreement.

Abdul Ahmad Hussaini, Hasht-e Subh Persian

The post Two Years After the Doha Agreement, Zalmay Khalilzad Lays the Blame on Afghan Sides appeared first on Hasht-e Subh Daily.

Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily

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